✏️ From the Author
Huge day for news today! Tons of major stories, that I personally found all very interesting.
Would love to hear if you have any thoughts on anything today! Feel free to just reply to the email.
Back tomorrow, as always <3
📰 In The News
1. Netflix acquires Night School Studio
Netflix made their first major move in the gaming industry today, with the acquisition of Night School Studio — a game development company most well known for indie adventure games Oxenfree and Afterparty. They will be continuing their work on Oxenfree 2, which releases later this year, alongside some new titles.
It appears to be a logical fit. Netflix plans on integrating gaming directly into their subscription service, specifically games “with no ads and no in-app purchases.” Narrative-driven experiences like Oxenfree, which are similar to watching a movie or television series, is perfect for a service like Netflix.
Looking deeper: It’s pretty clear that Netflix is diversifying their plan on entering the gaming industry. They’ve smartly begun with indie developers like Night School, as well as collaborations like their movie tie-in game Kate: Collateral Damage. They’ve also released some smaller casual mobile games that are available in a new “Games” tab in the Netflix Android app (it’s only available in some European markets though).
💭Adrian’s Thoughts: Netflix is being super smart about this. They hired some key people and seem to have set their expectations appropriately, unlike companies like Google (with Stadia) and Amazon (with a myriad of failed AAA titles). I’m super interested to see what their service will look like in two years.
2. Amazon’s first hit title
Amazon’s long-delayed MMO New World released yesterday, and it received more than 700,000 concurrent players. This gives it the #5 record in all-time concurrent players, with only a few major games above it:
This is a massive achievement, and shows that they’ve definitely done something right with the game. Many people are expecting the concurrent player count to grow even more into the weekend.
Launch woes: Unfortunately, it appears as though the game only allows for around 450,000 people to play at once (2,000 players per server, 233 servers available). People are cueing in line to play, with thousands or tens of thousands of people ahead of them. Amazon is working on it.
This is Amazon’s first win. New World has been at the butt end of many jokes over the years, and it didn’t help that they started and cancelled a number of different games over the years (RIP Crucible). We don’t know if this is just a flash in the pan — the game could flop once all the influencers are done playing with it, or it could stick around for years to come. Critical reception while it was in beta was certainly optimistic.
3. Outer Wilds DLC released
2019 indie hit Outer Wilds got its first and only DLC today, called Echoes of the Eye.
After reading multiple different reviews, I can confidently repeat to you: If you played the main game and enjoyed it, just buy the DLC and play it without reading anything else. The magic of this game is about exploring and discovering — its an easy thing to spoil, and excels when you’re looking at it with fresh eyes.
That said, I can recommend some reviews for you to read if you’re interested. These authors can explain what is going on with the game far better than I can, as someone who hasn’t played it (yet).
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell for Eurogamer always has fascinating things to say about video games, and his reviews are works of art themselves.
For some concrete explanations of how the DLC is different from the main game, read IGN.
And a great summary, from The Verge:
“Echoes of the Eye diverges from the base game in some welcome ways, but it still feels like it’s a part of the same universe. It was a risk for Mobius Digital to squeeze another planet into Outer Wilds, which already felt like a complete package with more than enough mystery to unspool. But this spooky, mystifying expansion is an integral part of the experience, as well as a fantastic send-off for a special game.”
4. Avengers heading to Game Pass
Crystal Dynamics that Marvel’s Avengers will be available through Xbox’s Game Pass starting on Thursday, September 30th. It will be on console, PC, and cloud streaming.
The full game is accessible, which includes “four story campaigns that showcase one or more Hero’s unique abilities, as well as our Avengers Initiative – our evolving online multiplayer world that lets you and three friends play as any Hero in our roster and embark on global adventures.” (per the Xbox blog).
Moving forward, Game Pass players will get all the content released except for the Spider-Man DLC which will be a PlayStation exclusive.
💭Adrian’s Thoughts: I think this is actually a pretty important move for the game. They’ve invested a lot into it, and people weren’t super happy with the game. They’ll be looking for a No Man’s Sky-like turnaround in order to up their player count, and Game Pass makes that a lot easier.
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Thanks for the read <3